MANILA, Philippines — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) extended its condolences to the family and friends of the late senator, who succumbed to lymphoma the other day at age 85.
The CPP called Pimentel as “a patriot, a democrat, and friend of the Philippine revolution.” He was detained several times during Marcos regime and accused of helping the underground movement.
“We appreciate him for steadfastly opposing attempts to distort Philippine history and depict Marcos as a hero. Like the rest of the Filipino people, we thank him for keeping alive the spirit of anti-imperialist and democratic struggles. His life and heroic example inspire all of us to fight the Duterte tyranny,” CPP founding chair Jose Maria Sison said in a statement.
Human rights group Karapatan said Pimentel is a public servant “who stood for human rights and national sovereignty.”
Last September, Pimentel were still able to serve as a resource person to the public inquiry by Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on the attacks against human rights defenders.
“Pimentel staunchly asserted that no one should be persecuted for defending human rights,” Karapatan secretary-general Cristina Palabay said.
Pimentel stood against the dictatorship of late President Ferdinand Marcos and the political rehabilitation of the Marcoses.
Human rights advocates have also found an ally in Pimentel against the Human Security Act, and its grave impact to civil liberties and people’s rights.
They said Pimentel was one of the senators who voted for the removal of US military bases in the Philippines.
“We thank Ka Nene for his service to the Filipino people, as we battle with the current challenges to people’s rights and democracy,” Palabay said.
The Makabayan bloc also condoled with the passing of the late Pimentel.
House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said that the passing of Pimentel is a big loss to the country. “His life must be known and followed by all, especially to those in the government,” he said.
“Senator Pimentel is a sterling example of a public servant who stood up for what is right even if it meant going to jail for several times,” Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares said.
“We hope that more government employees and officials will be more like Senator Nene, who puts the nation’s interest first,” Colmenares said.
Meanwhile, Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago said, “We, the Filipino youth, marching for a better future alongside the people, will forever be grateful for his manifold contributions to defending democracy and sovereignty, and upholding human rights and good governance.” (Stacy Ang / Ismael Amigo)